Our latest maps show the growing evolution of Complete Streets policy adoption across the country from 2000 to 2021. Communities continue to commit to providing safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, ethnicity, or mode of travel.
The Complete Streets maps were produced in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Active People, Healthy Nation(SM) Initiative, to continue showing the growing evolution of complete streets policies across the country. Click here to view a PDF version of these maps showing the year-by-year progress in one downloadable PDF document.
Over the last two decades, Complete Streets policies have gained traction, as communities realize that safe, accessible, and healthy streets benefit their well-being and local economies. Complete Streets policies are a vital tool in helping create livable, activity-friendly communities where individuals can safely and easily walk, cycle, roll, or move actively with assistive devices to everyday essential destinations, such as homes, worksites, grocery stores, schools, or parks.
Creating communities where people can live healthy and physically active lives is not only important but also urgent, given the prevalence and risk of obesity in the United States. The CDC’s 2021 Adult Obesity Maps show the alarming prevalence of obesity in adults across the country and highlight the disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups, including Hispanics, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives, and Blacks. Adults with obesity are at increased risk for many other serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, severe outcomes from COVID-19, and poor mental health. While slowing down the growing epidemic of obesity will take a comprehensive effort, Complete Streets policies can offer one approach to give people more options to manage their weight by providing safe and convenient places to be physically active. While Complete Streets policies are certainly not a perfect solution, they have been proven to improve public health and safety.
Adopting a Complete Streets policy is a critical first step towards creating healthier and safer communities, but it is just that, a first step. Policies alone won’t create safer streets, communities must implement them in ways that change what gets built, where it gets built, and how it’s designed. The strongest policies ensure accountability for decision-makers, planners, and designers, and ensure equity by prioritizing our most vulnerable road users.
In our Elements of a Complete Streets Policy Framework, created in 2018, the Complete Streets Coalition emphasized the importance of developing policies that require more accountability from jurisdictions and account for the needs of vulnerable users, which helps set a national standard for best practices on creating a strong policy that will make meaningful change.
We are currently searching for the strongest Complete Streets policy in the country! Our 2023 Best Complete Streets Policies report recognizes the best policies in the country and celebrates the work of communities to make their streets safer, healthier, and more equitable.
Has your community recently adopted a policy? Share it with us!